The Rabshakeh whom the king of Assyria sent to the king of Judah and the Israelites and tried to persuade the people into doubting their king and their God. He tried to convince them that since the gods of the other nations that Assyria conquered couldn’t defeat them why would the God of Israel be any different? He tried to persuade them to trust in him instead and in return all will be well with them.
There are times when people will cast doubt on God’s power or His ability to help us through tough situations. They may even criticize those who give us godly counsel. They might try to convince us that they have the solution or that they are the solution.
How do we deal with these negative, discouraging people? Should we hold our peace and not say anything like the Israelites?
King Hezekiah dealt with this problem in two ways. First, he consulted Isaiah, the prophet. God spoke through Isaiah, telling Hezekiah not to be afraid of the words he heard from the Assyrian king’s messenger. God assured Hezekiah that He would send a spirit on the king of Assyria who will hear a rumor and return to his own land where he will fall by the sword.
King Hezekiah prayed to God, asking for His help. In his prayer he acknowledged the following things about God:
- the One who dwells between the cherubim
- You are God, You alone, of all kingdoms of the earth
- You have made heaven and earth
- You are the Lord God, You alone
He recognized the other gods were not gods but the work of men’s hands. He wanted God to save the Jewish people from the king of Assyria so that all the kingdoms of the earth will know that God is the Lord God.
God responded to Hezekiah through the prophet Isaiah. He said, “Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib, king of Assyria, I have heard.” God outlined how the king would be defeated. He promised that He would defend Jerusalem, save it for His (God’s) sake and David’s sake.
Just as God promised, an angel went out and killed 185,000 Assyrians in their camp. King of Assyria left and returned to his home in Nineveh. As he was worshipping in the temple of his god, his two sons killed him.
King Hezekiah trusted in God to save them from the Assyrian king and his vast army. God came through for the Israelites because of Hezekiah’s faith in Him. God delivered His people from their enemies.
God’s prophecy regarding the king of Assyria came true. He caused him to return to his own land where he fell by the sword (verse 7). The king’s god couldn’t save him because as Hezekiah pointed out, the other gods were not gods–they were made of wood and stone–the products of men’s hands and imaginations. The God of Israel, on the other hand, is living, breathing and existed long before man was created. This reminds me of what Paul said to the Greeks in Athens (Acts 17:22-31).